Why You Need a Really Good Friend or Two
Today I had coffee with a friend I shared a house with 30 years ago.
When my friend Brent died, I was impressed with this fact:
You don’t know how long you have in this life. So if you want to do something, can you really afford to wait until tomorrow?
I remember hiring a young girl to work in my store. This was probably her first job. She didn’t have work skills, but she was eager to learn. I made it my goal to teach her what she needed to know so she could work unsupervised.
After a few months, I was really proud of what she had become.
Then one morning on the radio, I heard about two young ladies who were killed in a hit and run accident. The announcer gave her name, which was unusual enough to be unique.
I called her grandmother to confirm that it really was her.
Tomorrow may never come.
If the word “mententional” confuses you, it’s a mashup of “men” and “intentional.”
If you’re a woman, change it to “womententional.”
I’ve gotta confess I’ve let a deep friendship with anybody go by the wayside. The American ideal of real manhood is someone who’s strong, independent, and a bit too hooked on sports.
Well, two out of three for me. When I turn on sports, I end up reading a book.
I’m weird like that.
As an introvert, I embrace the idea that a strong man is an island. I can be alone for hours, even days, and not feel lonely. Just give me something to think about and I can entertain myself forever.
But I like helping people. I really do. Next to thinking time, that’s my greatest pleasure.
So much for being an island.
Friendship and love go hand in hand
I’m a word nerd. I love the way they sound, what they mean, and the pictures they can paint.
So I did some research on the word “friend.” Did you know that in four different languages — English, Latin, Greek, and German— love and friend come from the same root word?
It seems these two words are married wherever you look.
Here’s what they share:
- A strong feeling
You might say love is stronger than friendship. Yet some friendships last longer than a marriage. And even the worst trial may not separate strong friends.
The fire of conflict is the ultimate test of love and friendship.
Friends with benefits
Acquaintances may count as friends, but you won’t tell them your darkest secrets.
Friendship is earned. A true friend will stick with you and forgive you of all but the worst crimes. Find someone like that and you have someone to share a safe space with.
It’s hard to hold stress by yourself. You need someone to vent to. If that someone will lend you an open, nonjudgmental ear, they can lift the weight of the universe off your shoulders for a few minutes. This can give you time to breathe — and see life with fresh, more objective eyes.
You can’t see how to get the elephant off your chest when he’s pressing down on you with all his weight.
Friends aren’t just ears for trouble. They’ll listen to your dreams and get excited for you. They won’t think you’re crazy. They’ll help you see why you’re supremely qualified.
And they’ll help you see through the fog or find a partner to make your dream real.
They say it takes a village to start a movement. A village begins with good-hearted friends locking arms to do something great.
We talked for two hours
We had 30 years to catch up on.
We didn’t cover everything. But we did talk about what concerns us now, and the history behind those concerns. We talked about our dreams for the future. And we openly discussed our struggles.
Life is messy, and nobody’s perfect.
But life’s mess is infinitely easier to handle with a good friend or two.
We’ll drink coffee again next month.
Over time, we’ll both be stronger.
Too bad we won’t be perfect…
Tomorrow never comes.
Your friends won’t call you. So call them. Set a date. Make it once a month or once a week.
The frequency is up to you.
You’ll be richer for getting together.
And more human.